NE Georgia Unemployment rate lower than national, state average

Georgia’s strong recovery touted by Wall Street Georgia

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Northeast Georgia’s unemployment rate decreased in August as well as saw a monthly decrease in initial claims. The Northeast Georgia region includes Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties.

With a decrease of 1.9% to 4.8 %, NE Georgia’s unemployment rate is lower than both the nation, at 8.4 %, as well as the state. In August last year, the NE Georgia unemployment rate was 3.5 %. It was at its lowest in November 2019 when it was 2.5%.

“It is very promising that we continue to see the unemployment rate drop month after month, while the job market gets stronger, evoking positive news for Georgia’s economy,” said Georgia’s Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “The state as a whole is leading the nation in competitive unemployment rates, coming in at 7thlowest.”

At a 5.6 % unemployment rate, Georgia is tied for 7th lowest with Alabama and Montana. At 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2, Nebraska, Utah and Idaho respectively lead the nation with the lowest unemployment rates, according to the US Bureau of Statistics. Highest unemployment rates are California at 11.4, Hawaii and New York tied at 12.5, Rhode Island at 12.8 and Nevada coming in last at 13.2.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp touted this unemployment rate in a recent press conference, noting that this rate was significant at more than half the rate it was at 12.6 back in April after the COVID-19 shutdown. He quoted from The Wall Street Journal that noted, “Remember when the national press corps portrayed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as a villain for reopening the state’s economy too soon? Well, more than a few states would like to be in the Peach State’s pandemic and fiscal position now.”

In addition, Georgia was again named 2020 Top States for Doing Business for the 7th straight year by Area Development Magazine: 2020 Top States for Doing Business Showcase Their Pro-Business Environments“The pandemic has created massive upheaval in employment, and as the nation recovers, it’s likely that many workers will wind up in different places or even entirely different occupations. A key to recovery is the ability to get workers trained or retrained quickly and efficiently — something that has always been important, and now is more so than ever.Georgia ranks first in this category, and its Quick Start program has years of experience creating customized job-training programs that are free to qualified companies. Linked to the Technical College System of Georgia, the program is so highly regarded that a number of other states have used it as a model.”

The labor force decreased in August by 6,581 to 290,392. That number is down by 12,800 from the total from August 2019. NE Georgia ended August with 276,318 employed residents.  The number decreased by 724 in August but was down 16,370 as compared to last year. Initial claims for unemployment decreased by 51 % in August. When compared to last August, claims were up by about 823 %.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed 5,075 active job postings in Northeast Georgia for August. You can visit to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia, and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers.

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